Whether you have a hearing impairment, or not, many are opting to watch movies or television with subtitles.
Twitter Viral Response on Subtitles in Theaters
Recently, via Twitter, people have publicly expressed their interest in having subtitles in movie theaters.
“Subtitles aren’t just for deaf people. Lots of my hearing friends use them, too. If you’re hearing and using subtitles on Netflix and TV, and would quite like them at the cinema, please retweet to help normalise their presence.”
The post from @deafgirly (A.K.A. Deafinitely Girly) had a viral response with over 74,000 likes and several replies.
The 30-year-old blogger and advocate from London, who prefers using her Twitter name, discovered the worldwide support while at lunch with her mother.
Deafinitely Girly noted that there was so much encouragement around the globe, from people of all ages. Individuals who have expressed that they are not exactly fans of captions at movie theaters, stated that they would tolerate them if it meant that those who are deaf and hard of hearing could go to more screenings.
Subtitle Usage Surges Among People of All Hearing Abilities
The deaf and hard of hearing are not the only people who need subtitles. If someone is watching a movie or TV show from a foreign country, even if it’s in the same language, the accents are sometimes difficult to understand.
In a study from 2006, out of the 7.5 million UK TV audiences who used subtitles, approximately 1.5 million had some degree of hearing impairment. Although that estimate was conducted 13 years ago, the use of subtitles surged when more viewers watched shows or videos during their commutes.
Social media manager, Christina McDermott, observed the awkward moment when someone was watching a video in a quiet area, only to click on a video that turned out to be very loud. Having subtitles can grab a casual viewer. There are up to 85% of videos on Facebook that are viewed without sound, therefore subtitles are necessary.
In order to capture an audience’s attention, the methods that were used in silent films are being used today.
On social media, a humorous screen grab with a caption, or a meme, can garner some popularity.
Subtitles Reduces Isolation for the Hard of Hearing
Anna Gryszkiewicz, a Swedish engineer, who was diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss when she was in her 20s, uses captions. She views the popularity of captions as something positive, because she now notices that it’s easier to find or request captions as opposed to 15 years ago. Gryszkiewicz expressed that those who are deaf or hard of hearing “have such an advantage living today”, but she is concerned about the quality of subtitles, for example, in computer auto-captions.
Gryszkiewicz emphasized that we should not forget about the social aspects in regards to hearing loss. Communication, language, and interacting with people socially are complex. Being deaf, or having hearing loss is different than what those with normal hearing assume it is like - and the effects on how one communicates is usually underestimated.
“I understand that good captions and other accessibility features are expensive and it’s not unreasonable to look into technology to reduce costs, but I hope our opinions are taken seriously when we try to explain what kind of accessibility is helpful and what isn’t,” said Gryszkiewicz.
Deafinitely Girly explained that her deafness is sometimes very isolating.
“You miss out on jokes, on social media videos, viral clips don’t mean anything, and you can’t follow the latest news that’s being live tweeted,” said Deafinitely Girly. “Subtitles being universal would change that massively.”
If you, or a loved one are hard of hearing, suffer from sensorineural hearing loss, or any other type of hearing loss, contact us at Pure Sound Hearing Aids for a free hearing test and consultation.